For those of us who spend all our lives at our desks, choosing the best keyboard is nothing short of vital. This is the tool that we use to complete our work, communicate with friends, and search for entertainment every day of our lives.
So it's odd that we tend to neglect our keyboards. In offices these days, a big, bright screen is a given; and an ergonomic, RSI-busting mouse is high on list; but what do we do to our keyboards? We bash away at them, whinge that they're sticky, and then eat our lunches directly over them.
Finding a good keyboard that works for you is a matter of patience. You’ll know immediately and viscerally when you start typing on the wrong keyboard, but you can take to the right one like a duck to water – which is exactly what happened when I tested and reviewed the most highly rated keyboards on the market.
Before we get started, a couple of things to note: you absolutely don't need to pay a fortune for a decent keyboard. If you're just sending a few emails or chatting to your friends online, a budget option will probably do exactly what you need.
That being said, as so often in life, you get what you pay for. The more expensive keyboards I tested did feel2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围app better on the fingertips, even if they ultimately sell themselves for specialist jobs. On this note, I found that Logitech keyboards were the front runners, with premium designs, comfortable layouts, and handy special features.
Another thing to think about is the context you'll be using your keyboard in. If you're in an office, you probably won't want a mechanical keyboard, which are chunkier, louder, and more strenuous to type on for long periods of time. If you're a gamer, you'll find it too easy to miss the key you're aiming for with a membrane keyboard. If you're worried about straining yourself, an ergonomic keyboard isn't always as important as a keyboard which simply tilts the right way.
Here's what I learned when testing the best keyboards out there, starting with my favourite...
1. Logitech CRAFT
Why we like it: 2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appNice to type on, with a useful knob for fast shuffling
Connection: 2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appBluetooth (USB dongle included)
The Logitech CRAFT keyboard is designed for creatives – people who need to flick back and forth between pages quickly, who need to be able to type as fast as possible, take screenshots, make notes on documents, jump between devices, and generally live life in the fast lane.
I am none of those things and I can honestly say this was my favourite keyboard of all those I reviewed. I love the ergonomically designed keys with soft grooves in the centres that feel nice to the touch. I love the soft, quiet press as I hit the keys. I love the handy keyboard shortcuts which can lock my computer, bring up the calculator, turn my music up by tapping one key, instantly connect my keyboard to another computer, take a picture with my webcam and so much more.
This keyboard feels like a seriously premium product. It’s weighty and doesn’t move as you type (an all too common problem with cheaper designs, which you have to chasing them across your desk after typing a few paragraphs). There’s also some nice back-lighting which lights up when your fingers draw near – not exactly world changing, but a nice touch nonetheless.
Of course, the most instantly noticeable feature of the Logitech CRAFT is the ‘crown’. This is a knob on the top left hand corner of the keyboard which can do a variety of things depending on what programmes you’re using it with. As standard, it acts as volume control, but if you’re the creative sort you’ll find it handy in your other apps too. It can adjust brightness in Photoshop, change stroke weight in Adobe Illustrator, enlarge text in Powerpoint, or instantly create charts in Excel.
It’s a rather unique feature that most won’t ever use outside of the novelty factor, but for those who use these apps frequently, it’ll save a couple of clicks every time. When the muse strikes, that might mean the difference between getting a piece exactly how you want, or walking away in frustration after the inspiration fades.
The keyboard connects to your computer via Bluetooth (though, just to confuse you, it comes with a charging cable which does not work as a wired input.) The range on the box says 10 metres, which I did manage, but it’s worth noting that if there’s a tonne of stuff in the way, you won’t get that range.
Look, I am not a 'creative'. I don't design things, I don't edit videos, I don't spend my life coming up with 'concepts'... and I love this keyboard. I'm using it now to type these words. It looks and feels premium, it's great to type on, and those shortcut buttons are seriously handy. I really think it saves me a little bit of time in my working day.
I would add, however, that if you're not a creative, it might be worth your while to try the Logitech MX Keys () It's almost exactly the same thing but without the knob on the top. The keys are a little softer so the typing is slightly quieter, but everything else is in the same place and does the same job.
2. Logitech Multi-Device K780
Why we like it: Good for working on the go
Connection:Bluetooth (USB dongle included)
Lots of the keyboards I’m reviewing here have the capacity to switch seamlessly between devices but the Logitech Multi-Device K780 is the first to make full use of that capacity.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appThere’s a groove shelf at the back of the keyboard, where you can place your smartphone or tablet and type as you go. For those who are frequently traveling and need a lighter alternative to taking a laptop everywhere but hate cramped tablet keypads, this is a great way of getting the best of both worlds.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appMobile devices slot into the groove on the keyboard’s back very easily and are stable enough. I was slightly concerned that a larger device like an iPad would topple backwards immediately, but to Logitech’s credit, the shelf is designed with a seam which prevents that.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appWhile the mobile controls from the keyboard are very good, some apps aren’t optimised for using a physical keyboard, so you may have to tap and swipe your device where necessary.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appAs a computer keyboard it works fine too, coming with a Bluetooth dongle which fits in your USB port should your computer not be Bluetooth enabled. Aside from the easy switching between devices buttons, there’s no extra bells and whistles on this one. It’s a very simple keyboard.
T2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围apphat being said, there were a couple of choices which took a moment to get used to. The arrow keys have been moved beneath the return and shift keys and the delete key is above backspace rather than to its left. All of this is space-saving stuff which doesn’t ultimately harm the keyboard’s usability, but it feels odd at first.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appThe first thing I noticed out of the box was that the device has very good grips which mean, despite being reasonably lightweight, it doesn’t slide away from you even when you’re thrashing the keyboard.
As mobile keyboards go, it’s the best-of-the-best, and as a computer keyboard, there’s nothing to complain about whatsoever. If any mobile keyboard can kill the laptop once and for all, it’s this one.
3. Xenta Wired Multimedia Keyboard
Why we like it: The price!
Connection: 2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appWired (1.5m USB cable included)
Welcome to the bargain basement, where you can get a serviceable keyboard and mouse2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围app for about the price of a pint in London. Really.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appThe Xenta is the cheapest keyboard I could find on the market – and when I got it out of the box, I fancied I could see why. The keyboard was greasy. I’m not sure how, or why, but it was plain to see: a thin sheen on some of the keys. Now, I’m not saying my fingers were slipping and sliding all over the board, but it was definitely there. Something to consider if you’ve got greasy-fingered kids around; this baby will pick up stains easily.
B2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围apput aside from that minor hiccup, the Xenta proved to be genuinely solid experience – and great value for money.
I’d characterise the keys as ‘pressy’ rather than ‘tappy’, but all work fine and never got stuck while I was using them (maybe the grease keeps them moving?). They’ve also got some cushioning so this keyboard is nicely quiet.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appThere are some buttons on the top which can be set to do basic things like open your browser’s homepage or emails, and can turn the volume up or down and control video and music playback. All very easy.
One thing I didn’t like was that the keyboard slightly slopes away from you, which means you have to arch your wrists a little to use it. That could be a problem if you've suffered from RSI in the past, or are worried you might be vulnerable, because it's pushing your lower arms into odd positions.
The Xenta is also quite plasticky – which is to say that it doesn't feel like the sturdiest bit of kit in the world. Mine arrived – and still is – absolutely fine, but there are reports online of the item arriving cracked. Make sure you're buying from a reputable seller.
Overall, you’re paying less than £6.00 for a decent keyboard and it comes with a mouse. For those who just want a decent, simple keyboard, this is a steal.
4. KnewKey Dual mode Mechanical Keyboard
Why we like it: The look
Connection:2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围app Bluetooth or wired (85cm USB cable included)
T2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围apphere's an undeniable gimmick factor to the KnewKey Dual: it's like something out of an Agatha Christie yarn, with added plastic. And yet, this keyboard works really rather well, to the point where I found it genuinely fun to use.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appIt's fair to say that it won't be for everyone – the clickety-clack typewriter-esque keys are so noisy that you'd soon be punished by colleagues if you brought it into the office. However, I can definitely see a would-be novelist or artsy blogger loving this device.
It's a mechanical keyboard, so the keys make a satisfying click, but there's a nod to modern practicality here that elevates it above sheer nostalgia: a backlight for handy typing in the dark, and a little lever to switch between Bluetooth and USB. I also appreciated the volume knob on the side of the typewriter – not strictly necessary, but a nice touch and useful if you're someone who works with music playing.
As mentioned this thing is loud. I also have some quibbles with the bulky black backbar which gets in the way if you use it as a phone keyboard, and the 85cm USB cable, which seems far too short. There's also no Bluetooth adapator to connect it to older PCs which is a bit of a downside.
So, a few problems, but only really problems for certain people. Not one for the office, but if you’re looking for something a bit quirky, this one works well and does what you need it to.
5. Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop
Why we like it:2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围app The peculiar, ergonomic shape should protect against RSI
Connection: Bluetooth (USB dongle included)
T2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围apphe concept of ergonomic keyboards has been around for a long time now but despite numerous attempts, they’ve never really managed to catch on. Microsoft’s Sculpt keyboard is still trying to make the trend happen, and, actually, it gets a lot of things right.
The centre of the keyboard is raised with a slight slope on either side. The idea is to help position the users wrists and forearms in a natural position to help reduce strain. There’s also a split down the middle of the keyboards to encourage you to use each hand for the keys nearest, rather than stretching all the way across the keyboard unnecessarily. Finally, there’s a soft wrist cushion which helps to raise your wrists up to the level of the keys.
T2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围apphe other unique design choice of this keyboard is that it splits the number pad on the side off into its own separate interface which, I suppose might be handy for those who need to type in numbers quickly for spreadsheets or whatever.
Aside from the design and the big split down the middle, this keyboard is actually pretty standard. There are a few interesting additional buttons such as a calculator shortcut and a flick switch which allows you to set the shortcuts on your F1-12 keys as the default. Nothing particularly whizz bang though.
My one reservation about the Sculpt is that it takes some time to get used to. Personally, I use my left hand to hit the ‘G’ key and my right to hit the ‘B’, for example. On this keyboard, for me, those keys are on the wrong sides of the divide. So, the Sculpt slowed me down – but I'm sure I'd learn it's layout reasonably quickly – and it would make me a better, faster touchtyper in the process.
6. HP Business Slim
Connection: 2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appWired (1.8m USB cable included)
I2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appf you’ve ever worked in an office, you’ll probably recognise this one. The humble HP Business Slim has been adopted by offices up and down the country, partly because it's both cheap and fucntional. I’ve used three separate HP Business Slim keyboards in each of the businesses I’ve worked at so I’m very familiar with it.
A2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围apps basic, wired keyboards go, HP Business Slim does all the things you need it to. It might lack the extra functions of its competitors, but it’s a no-nonsense keyboard which you can purchase for well below the asking price if you’re prepared to take a look around the internet.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appThe greatest asset at the HP Business Slim’s disposal, and the reason it has become so popular, are its soft touch keys which allow users to type quickly and quietly without disturbing colleagues.
Still, it does have its downsides. It’s all too easy to get dust and crumbs under the keys (especially when you’re working so hard that eating at your desk is a must) and the plastic design feels cheap and outdated.
That said, if you want a simple, reliable keyboard, this should be your go-to.
7. PFU Happy Hacking Professional 2
Connection: 2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appWired (1.8m USB cable included)
You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appAt first I thought a ‘professional’ keyboard with a few less keys (44 less, to be exact) would be a boon. What kind of bourgeois typist needs 104 keys when there are only 26 letters of the alphabet, right?
Wrong. Turns out all those keys really are there for a reason and losing even one of them is a disaster.
So what’s the deal with the Happy Hacking Professional 2? Well, the device is the brainchild of Japanese computer pioneer Eiiti Wada. In 1996, he sought to create a professional keyboard which reduced the number of keys down to just 60, removing any which he saw as being unhelpful or unnecessary. The result was the original Happy Hacking Professional range, which has gained a cult following in the intervening years.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appThe keyboard itself is a rather cute, dinky little device, as long as an A4 piece of paper in landscape, and about half as tall. The keys are mechanical and are rather satisfying to whack. That, of course, means that this keyboard is by far the loudest of the bunch. You can hear it from a mile off. Whether you find that constant clattering charming or irksome will be down to personal taste.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appYou’ll notice the lack of keys as soon as you start typing. You’ve got the 26 letters, the numbers 0-9, eleven punctuation keys, then Esc, Tab, Control, two Shifts, two Alts, the space bar, Return, FN, and Delete (which doesn’t work as a backspace.) That might sound like enough - it isn’t. You forget how helpful it is to have a backspace key (instead backspace is accessed by pressing FN + Delete) and arrow keys to navigate around your work, but when they’re gone, you miss them like crazy.
Perhaps the idea is to get users to think more carefully about their work while they’re typing, but it’s hard to believe anyone could possibly be more productive on a device like this.
As I mentioned, this device has become a cult hit so maybe I’m just missing something, but I firmly believe that the humble keyboard has never been crying out for a redesign. Stuff minimalism, I want my backspace key.
8. Logitech G513 Carbon
Connection: Wired (1.8m cable with two USB ports)
W2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围apphen your keyboard comes with replacement keys for some of the most commonly-pressed buttons, and a soft wrist cushion, you know you’re getting into some heavy-duty stuff.
The Logitech G513 Carbon is a keyboard for gamers and makes no bones about it. If you’re not using your computer for gaming, you may find its features more gimmicky than helpful, but it’s certainly jolly good at what it does and it’ll absolutely turn heads.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appThe first thing we should talk about is the technicolour light-up keyboard. As I type this, a rainbow of colours is rippling out from each key I press. It's a lot of fun.
The reason for the light up keyboard is to help gamers navigate their way around it instinctively. When you’re in the midst of an intense game, missing even a single keystroke can spell doom. With the help of Logitech’s free app, gamers can customise each key with one of 16.8 million unique hues. You could paint all your direction keys in red, and have all of your action keys in blue, for example.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appAlternatively, you could just use these light-up keys to show off. The keyboard comes preset with seven different modes including a wave of colours going across your keypad, a soft fade-in and fade-out ‘breathing’ option, or my personal favourite, the ripple effect, where each key you press sends a rainbow of light rippling outwards across the rest of the keyboard. It’s gimmicky, but great fun.
As a mechanical keyboard, this one is loud. The keys press down a lot and while you don’t have to whack them to get the desired result, it’s hard to stop yourself. Something that only gamers will notice is that pressing each key does feel subtly different to the rest so you’ll know without looking if you’ve missed the key you were aiming for.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appThe metal base and weighty feel, along with the leather-look palm rest, definitely make it feel premium.
Gamers will get lots out of the incredibly deep customisation options which are surprisingly easy to set up. It wasn’t my favourite keyboard, but it’s hard to deny the appeal of those colourful, twinkling keys.
9. Dell Premier Wireless Keyboard and Mouse
Connection: 2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appBluetooth (USB dongle included)
T2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围apphis keyboard was easy to set up but beyond that I was disappointed.
It's a standard piece of kit: there’s no fancy knobs or lighting. Still, one of the biggest boons with this one is that it’s definitely the quietest of the lot. I’m not sure if there’s some sort of cushioning under the keys but you’ll hardly hear yourself type. Even when I was giving the keys a good thwack the keyboard was quiet as a church mouse.
I would note that I noticed a lag (the time between pressing a key and the corresponding reaction on screen). Not always, but it did happen occasionally. And I got a bit annoyed chasing the keyboard across my desk: it's lightweight, so it doesn't stay in the same place effectively.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appAfter that, there’s not a huge amount left to say. This one is a fairly standard keyboard that isn’t really doing anything out of the ordinary. I'd expect more at this price point.
10. Cherry Strait
Connection: 2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appWired (1.5m USB cable included)
I2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appf you’re a recent Windows convert who is used to using a Mac keyboard, this one might help you make the adjustment. At first glance it could be a Mac product with clean off-white keys, and a simple silver surface.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appBut beyond that, this is about as basic as it gets. The Cherry Strait has no special features to mention (unless you count coming with English keys in a German box a special feature.)
11. Roccat Horde AIMO
Connection: Wired (1.5m USB cable included)
This one is for gaming only. If you're a typist who thinks you can get one keyboard to do both, you are mistaken. The macro keys shove the whole keyboard slightly to the right, so you'll find yourself constantly tapping Caps Lock when you're aiming for 'A'.
Still, as a gaming keyboard it works fine. There are large gaps between the keys so you don't miss the one you're aiming for and the turning wheel works great for controlling brightness, volume, and keyboard colours, among other things. It notably has less integrations than Logitech's CRAFT option though, so I'd recommend that over this.
There's also a mostly-pointless wrist guard made of hard plastic which does nothing to help cushion your wrists whatsoever.
It's a decent gaming keyboard for the price, but I'd much rather pay a bit more for something that feels more premium.
Frequently asked questions about computer keyboards
How do I clean my computer keyboard?
Given that computer keyboards are dirtier than lavatory toilets you'll want to clean yours every few weeks. The best way to do this is to turn it off, unplug it, then gently wipe it down with a cloth. You can use screen wipes too but be gentle and don't go overboard or you risk wiping off the letters.
You could also consider using a USB vacuum to suck dust out from between the keys.
What's the difference between mechanical and regular keyboards?
Mechanical keyboards are those where hitting a key activates a physical switch on the keyboard. You press the key, activate the switch and corresponding letter or number appears on your screen. The alternative is a membrane keyboard which has three membranes under the keys. You press a key and it presses down on the membrane below, forming a circuit and telling your computer what to do. Generally, the difference is that mechanical keyboards feel more 'clicky' while membrane keyboards are more 'tappy'. That does make mechanical keyboards a lot louder, but they're also designed to last a lot longer.